Despite the growing trend, most Dutch municipalities remain ambivalent about fireworks, Source: Depositphotos

The number of Dutch municipalities banning New Year’s fireworks grows

The number of Dutch municipalities banning New Year’s fireworks grows

But what are the reasons for most local authorities to not have joined this new trend yet?

Media reports indicate that the number of Dutch municipalities that have opted to ban fireworks displays this New Year’s Eve has grown to sixteen. Tilburg, Arnhem, Amersfoort, and Eindhoven will not permit the noisy festive displays for the first time in their administrative history.

What’s more, three other municipalities – Ede, Zwolle and Zupthen – have indicated that they will also instil the prohibition next year. That means that the trend will continue gaining momentum in the future, albeit at a slow pace.

Attitudes towards fireworks are still divided though

Local authorities are increasingly saying no to fireworks for a variety of reasons. The colourful and loud displays create noise pollution, which is especially harmful and traumatic to domestic animals, such as dogs. Then there’s also on-the-ground pollution left after the use of the canisters and paper containers.

Another issue is safety, as people lighting up fireworks are at an increased risk of injuries, which in turn leads to an increase in the lineups at emergency care centres across the country during the festive night.

Despite all these factors, many people still seem to enjoy the spectacle afforded by fireworks and this translates to the ambivalence shown by the majority of local governments towards the issue. The remaining 323 Dutch municipalities have not expressed any interest in promulgating the ban.

For example, the municipality of Bunnik gives the following reason, according to RTL Nieuws: "A local ban is extremely difficult to enforce because fireworks sales cannot be restricted. In addition, it is a major communication challenge, because individual municipalities deal with a ban differently." 

Others say that in order to mete out punishment for breaking the rules, you’d have to catch the perpetrators in the act, which isn’t very easy to do on a busy night such as 31 December.

At least 22 municipalities believe there should be a national ban on the lighting and sale of fireworks. However, even the members of the Dutch Parliament haven’t been able to reach a consensus on the issue.



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